15th May 2013
Didier Drogba did it. With a well-aimed shot, the striker from the Ivory Coast officially opened the new FIFPro House in Hoofddorp, The Netherlands. The worldwide Professional Footballers Association celebrated the Grand Opening with approximately 300 guests.
Drogba, striker with Turkish champions Galatasaray and Honorary President of FIFPro Division Africa, blasted a ball through a paper window: the official sign that FIFPro has moved into its modern, three-storey office building near the main Dutch airport, Schiphol.
FIFPro welcomed many guests to the inauguration of the new FIFPro House. The guests included representatives from many stakeholders, such as FIFA's Vice-President Geoffrey Thompson, EPFL's CEO Emanuel Macedo de Medeiros), UEFA and the European Commission.
More than 100 representatives from FIFPro's 50 member unions all over the world attended the ceremony. FIFPro was also proud to welcome Roger Blanpain - one of the founders of the worldwide players union in 1965 and its two honorary presidents Gordon Taylor and Gerardo Movilla.
Of course, there were many professional footballers there too. Didier Drogba was the most prominent of approximately 30 players from clubs including Dutch champions Ajax, Feyenoord and Europa League finalists Chelsea.
FIFPro Secretary General Theo van Seggelen refused to grab the spotlight at the opening ceremony: 'The FIFPro House is built for the players. It is more than appropriate that they play the biggest role in the opening of the new office. Today, the spotlight belongs to them.'